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Carmant recognizes that using agencies in youth centers is “not the ideal solution”

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press In a press scrum on Thursday, Lionel Carmant indicated that the number of young people in youth centers has increased in recent years. “The pandemic has knocked a lot of parents with children with special needs to the ground. They needed help. »

Marie-Eve Cousineau and François Carabin

Published at 11:34 a.m.

  • Quebec

The Minister responsible for Social Services Lionel Carmant justifies the use of personnel placement agencies in youth centers by an “explosion” of overflow units, due to an increase in requests, as well as by his government's desire to avoid time additional mandatory for its employees. He believes that the new collective agreements, soon to come into force, will make it possible to repatriate independent labor into the public network.

Le Devoir revealed Thursday that the use of personnel placement agencies has exploded in youth centers and group homes in Montreal. Special educators and private intervention agents worked more than 185,000 hours there from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024, almost two and a half times more than the previous year. Bill amount: $11.8 million.

Questioned by Québec solidaire on this subject in the chamber on Thursday, Minister Lionel Carmant acknowledged that calling on independent labor is “not the ideal solution”, but that it is “the solution for the moment “. “The other option would have been to ask for mandatory overtime,” he said. And everyone in the Department of Health, and my colleagues, have made a significant effort to ensure that there is no need to have mandatory overtime. »

The minister showed himself irritated by the assertion of the president of the Alliance of professional and technical personnel in health and social services (APTS) in Le Devoiraccording to which youth centers approach a “‘prison’ model of monitoring a group of young people” when independent labor is omnipresent. He refused to answer a question on the subject from Quebec Solidaire MP Guillaume Cliche-Rivard. “A prison model. So, I left the health network to implement a prison model. So let's see. Well, let's see. It’s terrible,” he reacted in the room.

To go further

  • The use of agencies explodes in youth centers
  • Editorial | Beware of the tipping point with placement agencies in our CPE and youth centers
  • Video | Contact | Life after youth centers ?

Increase in accommodation requests

Earlier in the press scrum on Thursday, Lionel Carmant indicated that the number of young people in youth centers has increased in recent years. “The pandemic has knocked a lot of parents with children with special needs to the ground,” he said. They needed help. »

According to his office, however, the situation has improved recently. The CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, which manages youth centers and group homes in Montreal, has “hired more educators than there have been departures”. The firm also claims that 87% of people hired “stay” in this CIUSSS.

Lionel Carmant emphasizes that social services also try to “bring back to the public” professionals who have left the network for the private sector. At the CIUSSS Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, nearly 260 agency workers had been repatriated as of April 10, including 32 educators as of March 21.

“In the new convention, there have been significant increases for educators, added the minister in the press scrum. Educators are people who can be considered [workers] 24/7. They will also be entitled to bonuses. » Lionel Carmant calculates that youth center workers will be able to make up to $20,000 more. According to him, this new convention “will change the situation a little”.

Starting October 20, Quebec will prohibit health establishments in Montreal, Laval, Montérégie, Capitale‑Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches from using the services of a job placement agency. staff. Other regions will benefit from a longer delay, possibly extending until October 18, 2026.

Political reactions

At a press briefing at the National Assembly Thursday morning, the Quebec Liberal Party and Québec Solidaire said they were in agreement with the government's decision to eliminate the use of independent labor . However, they stressed that we should not go too quickly.

“At this time, I am not even convinced that the Minister of Health will succeed in eradicating the presence of these agency workers in our hospitals,” said Liberal MP André Fortin, spokesperson for the official opposition on health matters. Before going to the youth centers, can we see if the minister will succeed [in the hospitals] ?” André Fortin says he does not want a breakdown in services in the youth centers “because we would go a little too quickly on the question of agencies.”

The MP for Québec Solidaire, Vincent Marissal, believes that the health and social services network “cannot wean itself off agencies overnight”. “We have to be realistic,” said the spokesperson for the second opposition group on health. According to him, the government must, however, “do everything possible to wean itself off it as quickly as possible.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116